Every day, somebody, somewhere on the planet, is acting as a bridge between Japan and the world. We bring you stories direct from artists and researchers working on location around the globe, who share their various experiences, ranging from sketches of street life, to profiles of people encountered on the job.
In this fourth issue of our special feature "Crossing Borders, Engaging in Exchanges and Harnessing the Power of Creation amid COVID-19", we welcome film director Yukisada Isao.
In this second issue of our special feature "Crossing Borders, Engaging in Exchanges and Harnessing the Power of Creation amid COVID-19" , we welcome Ogawa Nozomu,
As I once said to a group of Japanese theater scholars: "I am not a specialist in Japanese theater, but my daughter was born on the day Ohno Kazuo, the cofounder of Butō, performed at Asia Society." My lighthearted but true statement revealed something deeper about cultural affiliation. In the sweltering heat of the summer of 1988, while holding my newborn daughter, Sophia, I was well aware that another drama of life was happening at that same moment just around the corner from Lenox Hill hospital.
Nineteen years have passed since a Korean student and one other person lost their lives trying to rescue a Japanese citizen who had fallen onto the tracks at JR Shin-Okubo Station in Tokyo in 2001. Since 2002, the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai has been honoring the spirit of Lee Soo Hyun by inviting Korean high school students, who will lead future Japan-Korea exchanges, for training every year in Japan.
On November 29, 2019, "Shuntaro Tanikawa Talk and Performance 'Mimi wo Sumasu'--An Evening of Talk, Poetry and Music" was held in commemoration of his receiving the Japan Foundation Award 2019. During the first part of the event, Mr. Tanikawa spoke with Ms. Ozaki Mariko, co-author of Shijin Nante Yobarete ("BEING CALLED A POET") about composing poems in the past, experiences with international exchange and more. In the second part, Mr. Tanikawa Kensaku, who is not only a composer, arranger and pianist but also Mr. Tanikawa's own son, gave a concert. There was also a collaboration between Kensaku's piano performance and his father's poetry reading. Many in the audience were moved to tears while listening to the readings of Listening, To Live and other masterpiece poems. In the following special interview, Mr. Tanikawa talks about the Japanese language, communication and composing poems.
The Perhimpunan Alumni Dari Jepang (PERSADA: the Association of Indonesian Alumni from Japan) was established in 1963 mainly by a group of Indonesians who had studied in Japan with the goal of becoming a bridge between Japan and Indonesia. Over the years, its members have risen to approximately 8,000 former exchange students to Japan. In 1986, PERSADA and Perhimpunan Persahabatan Indonesia Jepang (the Indonesia-Japan Friendship Association) took the initiative in establishing the private Darma Persada University. With all of its 5,400 students studying Japanese, this university has the largest number of Japanese language learners in Indonesia. The lecture held on November 9, 2019 at the Japan Foundation headquarters featured Mr. Ismadji Hadisumarto, vice president of PERSADA, and Mr. Hidekie Amangku, executive director of PERSADA. With Dr. Sakoda Kumiko, Deputy Executive Director at Hiroshima University who supervises Japanese language teaching at Darma Persada University, serving as moderator, they looked back at the history of PERSADA and spoke about its current activities and their thoughts.
Since 1985, the Japan Foundation has been hosting "The Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship" program that awards international exchange organizations with strong ties to local communities. We also undertake a follow-up project to share information and build networks among award winners. In the fiscal year 2018, participants attended workshops and visited communities where multicultural coexistence is practiced on July 26- 27, 2019 based on the theme "Bringing Together People and Cultures for a Multicultural Coexistence Society." A public symposium was held on July 27, in which regular citizens also attended. Here is our report on the two-day events.
The Japan Foundation Asia Center's JapaFunCup, a friendly international football match that pitted ASIAN ELEVEN against U-18 Tohoku Selection Team, featured as its official theme song "I Believe" sung by Little Glee Monster. The smash vocal group, idolized for their tremendous singing skills, traveled to the stadium on the day of the game and delivered a rousing performance of that song that electrified both the players and the 2,000-plus spectators. Here's an exclusive interview we did with the group's members.
Akutagawa Prize winning author Kazushige Abe was interviewed in advance of the publication of Orga(ni)sm, which follows Sinsemilla and Pistils as the third book of a trilogy that took him about twenty years to produce. He writes in Japanese, but several of his books have been translated into other languages under the Japan Foundation's Support Program for Translation on Japan, and he has given talks and readings in Canada, Thailand, and Italy.
The 34th Japan Foundation Prizes for Global Citizenship were awarded to the Komatsu Summer School Executive Committee, Hamamatsu Global Human Resources Support , and Pangaea. Each using their own approach, these citizens' groups promote the co-existence of diverse cultures and mutual understanding. Having received their awards, representatives from each of these organizations discussed their visions for the future.